Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
71 registered members (albydooby, cebeema, camperbc, Animisha, cmoody31, chueh, Ankee, butchkoch, 22 invisible), 943 guests, and 496 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? #2911773 11/14/19 12:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
W
Whiggs Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
W
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
Hi everyone,

I’m a complete noob here, so I apologize upfront for the stupid question...
Looking at the brochures for the upright pianos from different vendors, it isn’t quite evident to me what improvements do you get when you buy a more expensive acoustic piano.

With digital pianos it’s quite clear: usually there’s a very distinct improvement in features, such as action type, sensing subsystem, rendering engine parameters (realism, sample bank size, polyphony etc), audio reproduction system, and of course cabinet “sophistication”. There are also auxiliary features such as connectivity which are sometimes improved as you step up the line.
So if you compare, e.g. Roalnd LX705 to LX708, it’s quite clear what you’re getting for your extra dollars.

But with acoustic pianos it is not clear to me, perhaps due to lack of background with acoustic pianos (I’ve only played electronic keyboards when I was younger).

Can somebody please help me understand what makes piano A better than piano B?
Obviously the sound will be different, and sometimes the action would feel different, but reading through this forum it seems that “different” is not always “better”, and people are encouraged to try the instrument before they buy it.
Still, Yamaha charges way more for the YUS5 than for, e.g., the U1. And it’s not clear to me why.

Specifically, are more expensive instruments better in terms of longevity, and cadence/type of maintenance?

Appreciate any thoughts.

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items, digital piano dolly, music theme party goods
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911783 11/14/19 02:58 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 4,153
H
Hakki Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
H
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 4,153
You should better compare U1 to YUS1. YUS5 is a 52" upright.

This is how it is advertised on the Yamaha YUS pianos web page to justify the price difference.

Quote
YUS Series pianos share many features from our Flagship CF Series pianos. From hand-wound German strings and concert quality hammer felt to meticulous voicing and regulation that brings out a range of colors more reminiscent of a grand piano than a traditional upright. It’s quite simply the grandest sounding upright available.

The top ten percent of solid spruce from around the world is hand selected from our Kitami Mill in Hokkaido, Japan for the YUS piano soundboards. The crown is reinforced with full-length, solid spruce ribs for a refined, dynamic tone expected in a grand piano

YUS pianos are voiced and regulated by master technicians in Kakegawa, Japan to ensure that everything, from the strike of the hammers to the weight of the keys and depth of the key travel, are reminiscent of the finest grand piano.

Yamaha artisans wind each bass string by hand to the exacting standards and sound profile of every YUS piano at our factory in Kakegawa, Japan.

We took everything we learned from crafting the hammers of our flagship CFX concert grand and redesigned the hammers of the YUS to bring out powerful, nuanced tones on an upright piano.

Each YUS piano features a proprietary Yamaha tone escapement system that helps provide the clarity of tone and power that is rarely found in an upright.

Years of cutting-edge research, including our proprietary wood-drying process, result in durable back posts that maintain their shape, strength and resonance for years to come.

Yamaha was the first company to use an advanced Vacuum Shield Mold casting technology called V-Pro to create a stronger, lighter, more durable frame. Every YUS Series piano features a full-perimeter frame built to our exacting specifications at our Iwata Forge in Japan.

Often copied but never equaled, the patented Yamaha aluminum action rail helps assure our piano keyboards are resistant to tiny fluctuations in humidity and temperature over time.

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911789 11/14/19 04:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 96
R
rolex67 Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 96
You can learn a lot on the manufacturer’s websites.
How they are built ( handcraftship or not, quality of materials used) , where they are built ( that justifies a lot the difference of prices, even within the same brand)

Last edited by rolex67; 11/14/19 04:05 AM.
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911798 11/14/19 04:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
W
Whiggs Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
W
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
Cool, thanks for the pointers guys.

What about my other question - should there be any difference in the longevity of the piano? (More expensive = better aging)?
Is there any correlation to 2nd hand market value retention?

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911801 11/14/19 04:56 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,450
S
spanishbuddha Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,450
Err, did you flick through or read the Piano Buyer guide?

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911825 11/14/19 07:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 189
S
Snail Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 189
So difference between u series and yus, according to yamaha, without the marketing bs, comes down to better hamners, better strings, and better voicing.

Im sure that's an improvement, but not so much as to justify a 30% price increase. 10% would fine. 30% is robbery

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Snail] #2911833 11/14/19 07:57 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,183
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,183
Originally Posted by Snail
So difference between u series and yus, according to yamaha, without the marketing bs, comes down to better hamners, better strings, and better voicing.

Im sure that's an improvement, but not so much as to justify a 30% price increase. 10% would fine. 30% is robbery
Buying a piano is somewhat like buying almost any other product. If one piano costs twice as much as another it doesn't mean the more expensive one is "twice as good". If I spend $25 at restaurant and buy the same dish for $50 at a better restaurant it doesn't mean the second dish was twice as good.

Here is a very good article about the differences between very expensive and lower priced pianos:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/the-uncompromising-world-of-high-end-pianos/

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Snail] #2911835 11/14/19 08:02 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 305
G
gwing Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 305
Originally Posted by Snail
So difference between u series and yus, according to yamaha, without the marketing bs, comes down to better hamners, better strings, and better voicing.

Im sure that's an improvement, but not so much as to justify a 30% price increase. 10% would fine. 30% is robbery


You are entitled to your opinion. Others might value these differences more highly than yourself, and not necessarily dismiss the other differences stated by Yamaha as marketing bs either. We all have to make our own value judgments..

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911850 11/14/19 09:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,988
j&j Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,988
All the previous responses explain the difference quite well. One of the biggest differences between expensive pianos and less expensive models is an “improved playing experience” for the player and improved sound quality for the player and audience. The sound will be warmer, richer, more color, better sustain. From a warm rich growl in the base to a sparkling clear upper treble. The action will be very even and fluid. Practicing is actually enjoyable rather than a chore. There have been many improvements in upright actions in the last decade or so. Upright actions in higher end models now can do fast repetitions and use longer keys, which improves the players leverage and control. Higher end uprights can deliver a sound and action very close to a grand piano. Taller uprights have longer strings which really improve the sound. I don’t really know if a higher quality upright actually lasts longer than a cheaper one, but in fact it will be much further down the road before the buyer wants to trade up to something better. The best way to see and hear how pianos compare is go out to a dealer and play many to all the uprights on the floor. You’ll suddenly “get it”. You can hear the difference with longer strings, better scale design, better soundboards and hammers. You can feel the difference with higher quality actions. The best way to know the difference between a Toyota Corolla and a Ferrari 488 Spyder is to test drive both. My example is a huge exaggeration to make a point, but only you can decide what price you can comfortably pay and which piano is a pleasure to play and listen to. Best wishes on your piano journey.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
[Linked Image]
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: gwing] #2911851 11/14/19 09:10 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 647
Seeker Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 647
Originally Posted by Whiggs

With digital pianos it’s quite clear: usually there’s a very distinct improvement in features, such as action type, sensing subsystem, rendering engine parameters (realism, sample bank size, polyphony etc), audio reproduction system, and of course cabinet “sophistication”. There are also auxiliary features such as connectivity which are sometimes improved as you step up the line.

It's great question, Whiggs.
I agree with you that with digital instruments, it is easier to quantify the differences.
With acoustic pianos, IMHO, not so much.
Me, I like to keep things simple. Boiled down - the more expensive an acoustic piano is, in most cases, the better it will feel, sound and look to which I will add that it should hold up better under heavy use.

It gets a little complicated when one factors in that people don't agree on what sounds better, feels better, looks better. Read any of the threads on which piano hammers are better for an example that supports my contention. Your head will spin.

Quantifying hold up better over heavy use is tough. There is the ability of the keyboard and associated parts to stand up to many hours of playing. The quality of the bushings in the keys plays a big part. And then, there are the hammers - some will require more frequent voicing than others. What about the repetition parts - how frequently will they require regulation? under what conditions? Is the piano being used for concerts? weekend living room players? teaching? daily practice?

And so on.

Yes, you can read about the manufacturing details - "our carbon fibre action is better than your wooden ones"; "the wool in our hammers is better than your wool", our soundboard is sourced from the last grove of magic-fir on earth, and so on... But the reality is, at least in my opinion, that a great acoustic piano is more than the sum of its piece parts. Rather it is the synergy of those parts, the way they are adjusted, trimmed, fitted, fussed over, whether installed by computer driven equipment or superbly skilled humans, that creates an instrument that is really better and worth its price.

As to the upper most tier, i.e., the most expensive, that's where you start to see very fancy wooden veneers (exotic woods, beautifully worked), gold plated hardware, and so on. In this case, "better" means more beautiful, more luxurious.

Summing up - the more you spend, the better the piano should look, feel, sound, and hold up. Quantifying the specifics is, IMHO, difficult.

One pianist's opinion.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: pianoloverus] #2911854 11/14/19 09:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,540
L
LarryK Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,540
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Snail
So difference between u series and yus, according to yamaha, without the marketing bs, comes down to better hamners, better strings, and better voicing.

Im sure that's an improvement, but not so much as to justify a 30% price increase. 10% would fine. 30% is robbery
Buying a piano is somewhat like buying almost any other product. If one piano costs twice as much as another it doesn't mean the more expensive one is "twice as good". If I spend $25 at restaurant and buy the same dish for $50 at a better restaurant it doesn't mean the second dish was twice as good.

Here is a very good article about the differences between very expensive and lower priced pianos:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/the-uncompromising-world-of-high-end-pianos/


Great article, thanks for posting it. I think people tend to discount the number of labor hours that go into voicing and prepping higher end pianos.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911865 11/14/19 10:13 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 742
L
Learux Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 742
If you have to ask the more expensive piano is not for you.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Learux] #2911881 11/14/19 10:52 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,910
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,910
Originally Posted by Learux
If you have to ask the more expensive piano is not for you.


The OP stated he is a novice in the world of acoustic pianos. The question is therefore more than reasonable and any information would be useful now.... or later.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911920 11/14/19 12:48 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5,102
terminaldegree Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5,102


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2911997 11/14/19 04:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 359
JazzyMac Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 359
I consider more expensive pianos those that I am not yet skilled enough to play. Therefore, I would do the piano no justice and my piece would sound the same on a Schimmel that it sounds on a Kawai GL10. I also look to the unspecified "sum of parts."

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: JazzyMac] #2912015 11/14/19 04:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,988
j&j Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,988
Originally Posted by JazzyMac
I consider more expensive pianos those that I am not yet skilled enough to play. Therefore, I would do the piano no justice and my piece would sound the same on a Schimmel that it sounds on a Kawai GL10. I also look to the unspecified "sum of parts."


I do understand your point but even a mediocre intermediate amateur deserves the opportunity to enjoy playing a fine beautiful instrument. Even if it’s just once. It doesn’t take much technical skill to enjoy the sound and buttery smooth action of a Bösendorfer 214VC. For me, YMMV, I bought my piano for my enjoyment. Practicing keeps my brain going. Helps hand eye coordination. Keeps hands and fingers more flexible. My Estonia is so far above my playing ability, it’s like my grandmother buying an Indie Car. Even if you never buy one, you owe it to yourself to try one.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
[Linked Image]
Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: j&j] #2912016 11/14/19 04:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 359
JazzyMac Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 359
Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by JazzyMac
I consider more expensive pianos those that I am not yet skilled enough to play. Therefore, I would do the piano no justice and my piece would sound the same on a Schimmel that it sounds on a Kawai GL10. I also look to the unspecified "sum of parts."


I do understand your point but even a mediocre intermediate amateur deserves the opportunity to enjoy playing a fine beautiful instrument. Even if it’s just once. It doesn’t take much technical skill to enjoy the sound and buttery smooth action of a Bösendorfer 214VC. For me, YMMV, I bought my piano for my enjoyment. Practicing keeps my brain going. Helps hand eye coordination. Keeps hands and fingers more flexible. My Estonia is so far above my playing ability, it’s like my grandmother buying an Indie Car. Even if you never buy one, you owe it to yourself to try one.


Estonia...oh, but a dream. Le sigh.

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: JazzyMac] #2912027 11/14/19 04:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 3,032
L
Lady Bird Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 3,032
Originally Posted by JazzyMac
I consider more expensive pianos those that I am not yet skilled enough to play. Therefore, I would do the piano no justice and my piece would sound the same on a Schimmel that it sounds on a Kawai GL10. I also look to the unspecified "sum of parts."

It all depends ? For some the GL 10 may be enough.Perhaps they are just beginners, Later on they may hopefully get a bigger and better Kawai grand or may decide or a YUS5 upright or even a
European 130 upright (or even a performance grade grand)
As for longevity of the piano.,a performance grade piano will probably hold up better than a Japanese piano.Yet I know of a certain Kawai grand which has done a fair amount traveling across continents ,and well into its 50's.It is still being played.
A performance grade piano with "famous" name recognition like Steinways,Bechstein ,Bluthner will
always be easier to sell even when they have "aged", than those called Sauter ,August Forster or Ronisch.

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Whiggs] #2912031 11/14/19 05:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 3,032
L
Lady Bird Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 3,032
What ever the answer, a person who is inspired by a beautiful tone and a sensitive response is more likely to practice better !

Re: Pianos - what do you get when you pay more? [Re: Lady Bird] #2912070 11/14/19 06:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,287
NobleHouse Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,287
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
What ever the answer, a person who is inspired by a beautiful tone and a sensitive response is more likely to practice better !


I agree with this statement 1000% !!


[Linked Image]
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

ad
Rob Mullins Holiday Album
Rob Mullins Holiday Album

Rob is an amazing jazz pianist in LA,a composer, and a friend of mine.
Frank B. / Piano World
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
Christmas Ornaments Music Theme
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
NEW Roland RD4000 Keyboard
by Mr Jazz Man - 12/14/19 07:41 AM
Keyboard Action
by Mr Jazz Man - 12/14/19 07:31 AM
ABRSM aural exam clapping pulse
by chueh - 12/14/19 06:43 AM
How to mentally prepare for a big performance?
by PracticingPianist - 12/14/19 01:24 AM
What's Hot!!
Our August Newsletter is Out!
------------------
Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tour!

-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics195,647
Posts2,901,471
Members95,232
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3